Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has encouraged his players to tone down responses to James Harrison’s suspension. There’s no doubt they’re upset about it, just as many of them were when they came to his defense when he was fined for tough hits last season, but Tomlin is encouraging them not to vent to the press.
This isn’t to say they’re being totally silent.
“Man, they’re tripping,” cornerback Ike Taylor said of the NFL. “I don’t know what it is. [Harrison’s] getting it handed to him in the NFL way … He didn’t stomp on nobody, he didn’t punch nobody’s private area.”
Players are upset that Richard Seymour of the Raiders has now punched opposing players twice and has only received fines, while Harrison is being suspended for a heat-of-the-moment play that happened between the whistles.
Troy Polamalu’s response was more muted.
“I don’t think any football player is going to go out there and change the way they’re playing. I think it’s too late in our lives to really do that. Of course, we’re professional athletes and we try our best to adjust, but it’s tough.”
Unfortunately, that makes a lot of sense. Harrison certainly isn’t going to shy away from delivering nasty hits, but I’m sure he doesn’t want to make hits that are actually dangerous.
For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.